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James Cotton

a Discography of Sideman Recordings of


Solo/Own Band
w/Other Bands

Solo/Own Band
w/Other Bands
Solo/Own Band
w/Other Bands
Solo/Own Band
w/Other Bands
Solo/Own Band
w/Other Bands
Solo/Own Band
w/Other Bands


Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters Sings "Big Bill"
The Songs of "Big Bill" Broonzy
Release Date: 1959
Label: Chess LP 1444

- Tell Me Baby
- Southbound Train
- When I Get To Thinking
- Just A Dream (On My Mind)
- Double Trouble
- I Feel So Good
- I Done Got Wise
- Mopper's Blues
- Lonesome Road Blues
- Hey, Hey

rec. June - August 1959 in Chicago; Muddy Waters, voc; James Cotton, hca, Otis Spann, p; Pat Hare, g; Andrew Stephens, b; Francis Clay, dr

photographer: Don Bronstein


notes by Studs Terkel

Chess LP 1444

PYE International NPL
28048 (UK 1964) "Muddy
Waters sings the songs
of Big Bill Broonzy"

notes by Studs Terkel
= Funckler/Chess PAR 209
(NL 1964)

= Marble Arch MAL 723
(UK 1967)

notes by Studs Terkel
= Chess/Vogue 515029
(Fr 1986)

= Green Line GCH8029
(It 1986)

notes by Studs Terkel
and Bob Schnieders
= MCA/Chess CH-9197
(mastered by Steve Hoffman)
(US 1986) "Muddy Waters
sings Big Bill Broonzy"

notes by Studs Terkel
and Bob Schnieders
(=) MCA/Chess CHD-5907
(mastered by Steve Hoffmann)
(US 1986) "Sings Big Bill /
(Two on One)

notes by Studs Terkel,
Ralph Bass & Tony Russel
(=) Beat Goes On BGOCD 397
(UK 1997) "Sings Big Bill / Folksinger"


LMSfcLittle Mac Simmons and His Boys
Chicago Blues
Recorded: Chicago 1959
Release Date: 1959
Label: C. J. Records (Carl Jomes) (CJ 607)

UK Release Date: March 1967 as "Blues From Chicago"
UK Label: Outasite (Outasite OSEP 1)
US CD Release: _____ as “Chicago Blues From C.J. Records Volume 1”
US CD Lable: Wolf (Wolf 120.281 CD)

James Cotton track:
Jumping At Cadillacs (Instrumental) 2:27

Little Mac Simmons (hca)
James Cotton (hca)
Eddie King (g)
Bob Anderson (b)
Robert Whitehead (ds)

Outasite OSEP 1
[“Blues From Chicago” EP – 4-Track Extended Play in a Picture Sleeve]
LMSbcA-side, Track 1: My Walking Blues
A-side, Track 2: Come Back
B-side, Track 1: Jumping At Cadillac
B-side, Track 2: I Need You
Release Date: March 1967
Details: A1 and A2 are the A&B sides of a 1959 USA-only 7” single on CJ Records 606 (CJ is Carl Jones); B1 and B2 are his 2nd single on the label CJ 607; “Jumpin’ At That Cadillac” features James Cotton on Harmonica; 99 copies only; 2010 Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide Value - £200.00
CD availability: A-side 1& 2 were made available for the first time on “The Blue Horizon Story Vol.1: 1965-1970” 3CD box set - issued originally in 1997 in long book form and again in 2006 in a 3-disc jewel case with different artwork; B-side 1 & 2 are on “Chicago Blues From C.J. Records Volume 1” on Wolf Records


Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters at Newport 1960
Release Date: 1960
Label: Chess (LP 1449)

(MCA 088 112 515-2)

- I Got My Brand On You
- (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man
- Baby, Please Don't Go
- Soon Forgotten
- Tiger In Your Tank
- I Feel So Good
- Got My Mojo Working
- Got My Mojo Working pt. 2
- Goodbye Newport Blues []
2001 / 2007 CD bonus tracks:
- I Got My Brand On You #
- Soon Forgotten #
- Tiger In Your Tank #
- Meanest Woman #

rec. July 3, 1960 at the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, Rhode Island; Muddy Waters, voc, g; James Cotton, hca, Otis Spann, p; Pat Hare ["Tat Harris" on back cover], g; Andrew Stephens ["Andrew Stevenson" on back cover], b; Francis Clay, dr; [] Butch Cage, vl; [] Lafayette Thomas, g
# rec. June 1960 in Chicago
the archtop on the cover picture is John Lee Hooker's guitar; photographer: Burt Goldblatt

rec. July 3, 1960 at the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, Rhode Island; Muddy Waters, voc, g; James Cotton, hca, Otis Spann, p; Pat Hare, g; Andrew Stephens, b; Francis Clay, dr; [] Butch Cage, vl; [] Lafayette Thomas, g
# 2001 MCA/Chess bonus tracks; rec. June 1960 in Chicago


notes by Jack Tracy
Chess LPS/LP 1449

= Barclay 84.093 (Fr 1964)

= Chess CRL 4513 (UK 1965)b

notes by Jack Tracy
= Marble Arch MAL 661
(UK 1967)

notes by Mike Leadbitter
= Checker 6467 306
(UK 1973)

notes by Jack Tracy (italian)
= Carosello/Chess BRP 2026
(It 1982)

= P-Vine/Chess PLP-814
(Jp 1983)


= Chess/Vogue 515039
(Fr 19??)

= Green Line GCH-8022
(It 1986)

= Green Line GCH-8022
(It 1986)

notes by Jack Tracy
= MCA/Chess CD 1011


(=) Beat Goes On BGOCD 314
(UK 1996) "... in Newport / Live"

notes by Mary Katherine
Aldin and Jack Tracy
(=) MCA/Chess 088112515-2

(=) Chess/Victor SJET 8237
(mini LP CD Jp 2007)

= Speakers Corner 180g LP /
Chess 1449 (mastered by Ray
Staff, AIR-Studios, London




fsMuddy Waters
Folk Singer
Release Date: April 1964
Label: Chess

1. My Home Is in the Delta 
2. Long Distance Call 
3. My Captain 
4. Good Morning Little School Girl 
5. You're Gonna Need My Help         
6. Cold Weather Blues 
7. Big Leg Woman 
8. Country Boy 
9. Feel Like Going Home

JT Brown - Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Francis Clay - Drums
James Cotton - Harmonica
Willie Dixon - Bass
Buddy Guy - Guitar
Clifton James - Drums
Sammy Lawhorn - Guitar
SP Leary - Drums
Pee Wee Madison - Guitar
Milton Rector - Bass
Otis Spann - Piano
Muddy Waters - Guitar, Vocals

Producer: - Ralph Bass, Willie Dixon

In 1963, Chess Records asked Muddy Waters to produce an album targeted at the folk revival scene. Water’s brought along new talent – Buddy Guy – for these “unplugged” sessions that were to become Folk Singer. The album represents an anomaly in Muddy Waters’ discography as Waters had begun electrifying his sound, but since the market for blues diminished significantly in the early 1960s, an acoustic  folk approach seemed to make financial sense. The album never transformed Waters into a folk revival hit as it did for Son House, Lightin’ Hopkins and others, but it nevertheless contains some of Waters’ most intimate music.


tbndOtis Spann (w James Cotton and Dirty Waters (AKA Muddy Waters)
The Blues Never Die!

Release Date:
Prestige (Prestige OBCCD-530-2)
33 rpm vinyl album

1. The Blues Never Die
2. I Got a Feeling
3. One More Mile To Go
4. Feelin’ Good
5. After a While
6. Dust My Broom
7. Straighten Up, Baby
8. Come On
9. Must Have Been the Devil
10. Lightnin’
11. I’m Ready

Recorded in Chicago, November 21, 1964.

Otis Spann – Piano, Vocals (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 8, 9)
Muddy Waters, James Madison – Guitar
Milton Rector – Bass
S.P. Leary – Drums

James Cotton – Harmonica, Vocals (tracks: 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11)

Muddy Waters had the prototypical Chicago blues band of the Fifties and Sixties and, in Otis Spann, the most formidable down-home blues piano stylist of the modern era. A sideman on countless sessions during the Fifties, Spann recorded regularly under his own name throughout the next decade. This November 21, 1964 date, although issued under Spann’s name, featured the entire Muddy Waters band of the period, especially harmonica virtuoso James Cotton, who traded vocal duties with the pianist. Muddy was on hand too, listed as “Dirty Rivers” for contractual reasons. With James Cotton, James Madison, "Dirty Rivers," Milton Rector, S.P. Leary

"Boasting fellow Chicago blues dynamo James Cotton on both harmonica and lead vocals, The Blues Never Die! is one of Otis Spann's most inspired albums. When this session was recorded for Prestige's Bluesville subsidiary in 1964, Spann was still best known for playing acoustic piano in Muddy Waters' band. But The Blues Never Die! (which Fantasy reissued on CD in 1990 on its Original Blues Classics imprint) shows that he was as great a leader as he was a sideman. From Willie Dixon's "I'm Ready" (a Chess gem Spann had played numerous times with Waters) and Elmore James' "Dust My Broom" to Cotton's spirited "Feelin' Good" and Spann's dark-humored "Must Have Been the Devil," Spann and Cotton enjoy a very strong rapport on this consistently rewarding date." © Alex Henderson,


Big Mama Thornton
Big Mama And The Chicago Blues Band, Vol. 2
Release Date:
Arhoolie (F 1032)


BMT1Big Mama Thornton
Ball N' Chain
Release Date:
Recording: Tracks recorded between 1965 and 1968 - Hollywood, CA (10/20/1965-01/25/1968); London, England (10/20/1965-01/25/1968); Plaza Sound Studios, New York, NY (10/20/1965-01/25/1968); San Francisco, CA (10/20/1965-01/25/1968)

Personnel includes: Big Mama Thornton (vocals); Buddy Guy, Fred McDowell (guitar); Muddy Waters Blues Band (incl. James Cotton).

Arhoolie's Ball n' Chain is a terrific collection of late-'60s recordings from Big Mama Thornton. Supported on various tracks by Lightnin' Hopkins and Larry Williams, Big Mama runs through such familiar items as "Hound Dog," "Sometimes I Have a Heartache," "Sweet Little Angel," "Little Red Rooster," "Wade in the Water," and "Ball and Chain," turning in generally powerful performances. By and large, these don't necessarily rival her classic '50s recordings, but they are worth investigating if you're looking for something more. ~ Thom Owens

Personnel: Big Mama Thornton (vocals, harmonica, drums); Freddie Green, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Muddy Waters, Sammy Lawhorn, Bee Houston, Sam Herman, Buddy Guy (guitar); James Cotton , Big Walter Horton (harmonica); Earle Warren (alto saxophone); Everett Minor, Seldon Powell (tenor saxophone); Clark Terry (trumpet); Eddie Below, Eddie Boyd (piano, organ); Nathaniel Dove, Otis Spann, Wynton Kelly (piano); Francis Clay, Fred Below, Gus Wright, Grady Tate, Jimmy Cobb (drums).

Liner Note Author: Chris Strachwitz. Photographer: Chris Strachwitz.

01. Sweet Little Angel
02. Unlucky Girl
03. Swing It On Home
04. Little Red Rooster
05. Hound Dog
06. Your Love Is Where It Ought To Be
07. School Boy
08. My Heavy Load
09. I'm Feeling Alright
10. Sometimes I Have A Heartache
11. Black Rat
12. Life Goes On
13. Bumble Bee
14. Gimme A Penny
15. Wade In The Water
16. Ball N' Chain

“Unlike the list of jazzy 'Classic Blues Singers' headed by Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, the roster of down-home female blues singers issadlyvery short. If Memphis Minnie was the greatest and best-known of the latter group, Big Mama cannot be too far behind. She is one of the greats to be sure. Her voice ranges from a high register that can be 'silky' to a very low space that is as gruff and tough as any male's. Her sense of phrasing, intonation, and tremolo is very sophisticated at times but never moves her from the mark. She knows where she's at, and where she's at is the blues. Among the standout cuts are 'Sweet Little Angel,' 'Little Red Rooster,' 'BIack Rat,' and a remake of her famous 'Hound Dog'. Behind Mama is a cast of brilllant blues artists including Fred McDowell who accompanies her on slide; a small electric group consisting of Buddy Guy, Eddie Boyd, Big Walter Horton Jimmy Lee Robinson and the legendary Fred Below; and the 1966 Muddy Waters Band: James Cotton, Otis Spann, Muddy Waters, Samuel Lawhorn, Luther Johnson, and Francis Clay. And so, to borrow the words of Big Mama herself: 'Bow-wow to all of you!'”

(Baltimore Blues Society Newsletter)


ChicagoBluesJohnnyYoungJohnny Young
Chicago Blues

  • Audio CD (December 1, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: 1968
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arhoolie Records
  • ASIN: B0000001GJ

Johnny Young : guitar, mandolin, vocals
Otis Spann : piano
James Cotton : harmonica
Big Walter Horton : harmonica
Jimmy Dawkins : guitar
S.P. Leary : drums

01 - Wild, Wild Woman
02 - Keep Your Nose Out Of My Business
03 - I'm Having A Bail
04 - My Trainfare Out Of Town
05 - I'm Doing All Right
06 - Stealin'
07 - Keep On Drinking
08 - Hot Dog!
09 - Come Early In The Morning
10 - Moaning And Groaning
11 - Cross-Cut Saw
12 - Slam Hammer
13 - Strange Girl
14 - Ring Around My Heart
15 - Sometimes I Cry
16 - Don't You Lie To Me
17 - On The Road Again
18 - Walter's Boogie
19 - Stockyard Blues
20 - Drinking Straight Whiskey

Since his recording debut in 1947 Young shines on this one. Originally on Arhoolie lps 1029 & 1037 Young hosts an all star Chicago blues band. With legendary harpmen James Cotton & Big Walter Horton, Otis Spann and Lafayette Leake on piano, SP Leary & Lester Dorsie on drums, Ernest Gatewood and Jimmy Lee Morris on bass and Jimmy "Fast Fingers" on second guitar this cd is a winner. It is the eptiome of the tough Chicago sound of the day (for 1965). Highly recommend for all students and fans of Chicago Blues.

lvMuddy Waters
Live (at Mr. Kelly's)
Release Date: 1971

1. What Is That She Got
2. You Don't Have To Go
3. Strange Woman
4. Blow Wind Blow
5. Country Boy
6. Nine Below Zero
7. Stormy Monday Blues
8. Mudcat
9, Boom, Boom
10. CC Woman

James Cotton - Harmonica
Calvin "Fuzz" Jones - Bass
Sammy Lawhorn - Guitar
Pee Wee Madison - Guitar
Paul Oscher - Harmonica
Pinetop Perkins - Piano
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - Drums
Muddy Waters - Guitar, Vocals
Producer: Ralph Bass

[The 1992 CD reissue includes two bonus tracks, "She's Nineteen Years Old" and "Long Distance Call."]


cantMuddy Waters
Can't Get No Grindin'
Release Date: 1973
Label: Chess

an't Get No Grindin' (What's A Matter With The Meal)
Mother's Bad Luck Child
Funky Butt
Sad Letter
Someday I'm Gonna Ketch You
Love Weapons
Garbage Man
After Hours
Whiskey Ain't No Good
Muddy Waters Shuffle

Fred Carter - Bass, Guitar
James Cotton - Harmonica
Joe Denim - Harmonica
Calvin "Fuzz" Jones - Bass
Sammy Lawhorn - Guitar
Pee Wee Madison - Guitar
Pinetop Perkins - Keyboards
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - Drums
Muddy Waters - Guitar, Vocals
Johnny Winter - Guitar

Producer: Ralph Bass

Muddy's next-to-last Chess album, Can't Get No Grindin' marked a return to working with a band of his own after several experimental line-ups and recordings — Pinetop Perkins took over the piano spot from the late Otis Spann, with Chess veteran harpist James Cotton aboard, and PeeWee Madison, and Sammy Lawhorn handling the guitars (apart from Muddy's axe, natch). The music is raw, hard-edged, and sharp (the guitars slash and cut), more like a successor to Muddy's classic 1950's sides (he rethinks a bunch '50s numbers here) than to the London Sessions, Super Blues, brass blow-outs, and psychedelic albums that he'd been doing. It's also easy to hear Muddy's heart in this release — he fairly oozes soul out of every note he sings. The title track, "Sad Letter," and "Mother's Bad Luck Child" are all killer tracks, and most of the rest isn't far behind, though "Garbage Man" is the best known of the newer tracks, thanks to subsequent covers. Review by Bruce Eder & Bill Dahl


Muddy Waters
Hard Again

Release Date: 1976
Label: (Sony Epic/Legacy 86817)

Recorded: New York, 1976

Musicians: Muddy Waters (vocals), Johnny Winter (guitar), James Cotton (harmonica), Pinetop Perkins (piano), Bob Margolin (guitar), Charles Calmese (bass), Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (drums)
Best Song: The Blues Had a Baby and They Named it Rock and RollComposed by McKinley Morganfield & Brownie McGhee


flySteve Miller
Fly Like An Eagle

Release Date: 1976
Label: Mercury 6303 925
Type: vinyl LP


A1 Space Intro 1:15
A2 Fly Like An Eagle 4:42
A3 Wild Mountain Honey 4:50
A4 Serenade 3:10
A5 Dance, Dance, Dance 2:16
A6 Mercury Blues 3:43
B1 Take The Money And Run 2:48
B2 Rock 'N Me 3:05
B3 You Send Me 2:40
B4 Blue Odyssey 1:00
B5 Sweet Maree 4:16
B6 The Window 4:19

Bass - Charles Calamise (tracks: B6) , Lonnie Turner
Drums - Kenny Johnson (tracks: B6)
Drums, Percussion - Gary Mallaber
Guitar - Curley Cooke (tracks: B6) , Les Dudak (tracks: B6)
Guitar [Dobro] - John Mcfee (tracks: A5)
Harmonica - James Cotton (tracks: B4 Blue Odyssey, B5 Sweet Maree)
Organ - Joachim Young (tracks: A2, B6)
Vocals, Guitar, Synthesizer, Sitar - Steve Millerg



Muddy Waters
Muddy "Mississippi" Waters - Live
Release Date: 1979
Blue Sky Release #35712

01. Mannish Boy
02. She's Nineteen Years Old
03. Nine Below Zero
04. Streamline Woman
05. Howling Wolf
06. Baby Please Don't Go
07. Deep Down In Florida

Charles Calmese - Bass
James Cotton - Harmonica, Harp
Luther "Guitar Jr" Johnson - Guitar
Calvin "Fuzz" Jones - Bass
Sammy Lawhorn - Guitar
James Madison - Guitar
Bob Margolin - Guitar
Pinetop Perkins - Piano
Jerry Portnoy - Harmonica
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - Drums
Muddy Waters - Guitar, Vocals
Johnny Winter - Guitar, Vocals

Producer: Johnny Winter


Muddy Waters
King Bee
Release Date:

I'm A King Bee
Too Young To Know
Mean Old Frisco Blues
Forever Lonely
I Feel Like Going Home
Champagne & Reefer
Sad Sad Day
(My Eyes) Keep Me In Trouble
Deep Down In Florida #2
No Escape From The Blues

Charles Calmese - Bass
James Cotton - Harmonica
Luther "Guitar Jr" Johnson - Guitar
Calvin "Fuzz" Jones - Bass
Bob Margolin - Guitar
Jerry Portnoy - Harmonica
Pinetop Perkins - Piano
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - Drums
Muddy Waters - Guitar, Vocals
Johnny Winter - Guitar, Vocals

Producer: Johnny Winter


Muddy Waters
Rare and Unissued
Release Date:
Chess (9180)

Little Anna Mae
Mean Disposition
Feel Like Going Home
You're Going To Miss Me
Standing Here Trembling
Last Time I Fool Around With You
Where's My Woman Been
Gal (Stuff) You Gonna Watch
Lonesome Day
Iodine In My Coffee
Smokestack Lightning
Let Me Hang Around
Born Lover
Deep Down In My Heart

Alex Atkins - Alto Saxophone
Fred Below - Drums
Francis Clay - Drums
James Cotton - Harmonica
Ernest "Big" Crawford - Bass
Willie Dixon -
Elgin Evans - Bass
Leroy Foster - Drums
Pat Hare - Guitar, Drums
Marcus "Benjy" Johnson - Guitar
Little Johnny Jones - Tenor Saxophone
Little Walter - Piano
Ransom Knowling - Harmonica
Odie Payne - Bass
Jimmy Rogers - Drums
Sunnyland Slim - Guitar
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - Drums
Otis Spann - Piano
Andrew Stevenson - Bass
Tampa Red - Guitar
Muddy Waters - Guitar, Vocals
Junior Wells - Harmonica

Producer: Leonard Chess, Phil Chess


sylSyl Johnson with James Cotton's Blues Band
Ms. Fine Brown Frame
Release Date: 1982
Shama SHMLP800 / Erect Records ERD1215
Type: Vinyl, 12", Mini-Album

1. Ms. Fine Brown Frame
2. You Don't Have To Go


HSheartHubert Sumlin with James Cotton
Heart & Soul
Release Date: 1989 (August 3, 1989)
Label: Blind Pig (BPG 93389)

1. Your Foxy Self 4:04
2. Chunky 5:25
3. Sitting On Top Of The World 4:20
4. I Want You 4:16
5. Bring Your Love To Me 3:20
6. The Red Rooster 4:11
7. Juke 1:35
8. No Time For Me 3:53
9. Got The Blues 3:49
10. Old Friends 2:42


Emmit Powell and the Gospel Elites with James Cotton
Taking Gospel Music Higher
Release Date: 1993
Gospel Train
Type: Audio Cassette (1993) / CD (1995)

1. Don't Question God
2. Problem Is Me
3. Thank God I'm Blessed
4. Get out of God's Business
5. Lord Knows Your Heart
6. Who Can Say
7. Why Do We Doubt God's Word
8. God Is Still on the Throne
9. Grace
10. Witness
11. Certainly Lord
12. Somebody Bigger
13. Walk with Me Lord

"Taking Gospel Music Higher" (1994 - Elite Royal Records) - was nominated for a 1994 Grammy Award as "Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album of the Year.


kwsbKenny Wayne Shepherd Band
Live On
Release Date: 1999
Giant Recrods 74321 67072 2
Type: CD album

1 In 2 Deep 3:14
2 Was 3:59
3 Them Changes 3:17
4 Last Goodbye 4:33
5 Shotgun Blues 4:48
6 Never Mind 3:59
7 You Should Know Better 4:13
8 Every Time It Rains 3:46
9 Oh Well 3:37
10 Wild Love 3:42
11 Losing Kind 4:32
12 Live On 4:36
13 Where Was I? 3:30
14 Electric Lullaby 3:12

Arranged By - Jerry Harrison , Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Artwork By - Lawrence Azerrad
Bass - Arion Salazar , Keith Christopher , Les Claypool , Tommy Shannon
Drums - Chris Layton , Sam Bryant (2)
Engineer - Karl Derfler
Engineer [Additional] - Dan Chase
Engineer [Assistant] - Leff Lefferts , Robert Daniels
Executive Producer - Ken Shepherd
Guitar - Bryan Lee
Guitar [Slide] - Warren Haynes
Harmonica - James Cotton , Mickey Raphael
Keyboards - Reese Wynans
Lead Guitar, Vocals - Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Lead Vocals - Noah Hunt
Mastered By - Bob Ludwig
Mixed By - Tom Lord-Alge
Photography - Mark Seliger
Photography [Band Photo] - James Bland
Producer - Jerry Harrison


Ronnie Earl
Ronnie Earl and Friends
Release Date: 2001 (Sep 25, 2001)
Label: Telarc Distribution

Track listing
1. All Your Love
2. Rock Me Baby
3. I'll Take Care Of You / Lonely Avenue
4. Mighty Fine Boogie
5. One More Mile
6. Bad Boy
7. Twenty-Five Days
8. No More
9. Last Night
10. New Vietnam Blues
11. Marie
12. Blue and Lonesome
13. Looking Good

Playing time: 68 min.
Contributing artists: Irma Thomas, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Levon Helm
Producer: Joe Harley
Distributor: Fontana Distribution
Recording type: Studio
Recording mode: Stereo
SPAR Code: n/a

Album notes
Personnel: Ronnie Earl (guitar); Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson (vocals, guitar); Kim Wilson (vocals, harmonica); Irma Thomas (vocals); Paul Marrochello, Tim "Juice" O'Connor (guitar); James Cotton (harmonica);
David Maxwell (piano); Jimmy Mouradian, Michael "Mudcat" Ward (bass);
Levon Helm (drums).
Recorded at Bearsville Studio, Woodstock, New York on October 30-31 & November 1, 2000. Includes liner notes by Ted Drozdowski.

Ronnie Earl's first album after suffering from a bout with manic depression that sidelined him from live work for a few years, is a surprisingly modest, unassuming affair. The titular friends include Fabulous Thunderbirds founder/harpist/vocalist Kim Wilson who splits the album's vocal duties with Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson. James Cotton, Band drummer Levon Helm, keyboardist David Maxwell, and New Orleans legend Irma Thomas (who contributes her distinctive vocals to only two stunning tunes) round out the ad hoc band. Recorded live in Woodstock, NY's Bearsville studio over three days in autumn 2000 and released almost a year later, the session is a loose affair intended to emulate the old Delmark label style of rounding up blues friends, putting them together in a room and rolling tape. Of course, with musicians of this caliber, you're unlikely to go wrong, and the resulting album is a relaxed, unpretentious chronicle of these artist's interaction on blues classics and a few similarly themed originals. Most of the songs were completed in one take (you often hear the verbal cues deciding who takes a solo), and the album doesn't feature any one particular player, preferring to share the spotlight among all the "friends." Unfortunately those who come to hear Earl, one of the more tasty, understated blues guitarists, might leave disappointed since there is precious little soloing from the ex-Roomful of Blues man here. While that makes for a democratic gathering, it's also a little frustrating if you're an Earl fan. That said, there are many fine performances here. Kim Wilson is at the top of his game, shining on Little Walter's "Blue and Lonesome" and "Last Night," two of the six tracks he sings on. The former boasts Earl's longest, most passionate solo on the album along with a harp turn from Wilson that oozes with emotion. The group clicks on all the tracks, but seems to work best on the slow blues of Earl's "Twenty-Five Days," Cotton's "One More Mile," and Thomas' showcase, a languid and heartfelt medley of "I'll Take Care of You"/"Lonely Avenue," one of the disc's undisputed highlights. An album for Sunday mornings as opposed to Saturday nights, Ronnie Earl and Friends is a subtle and intimate blues session, whose headlining star remains only a small, but essential portion of the event. ~ Hal Horowitz

Editorial reviews: ...Uplifting....Slwo numbers seem to predominate, and there are a few moments of flash among these otherwise beautiful tracks lovingly produced by Joe Harley... Living Blues (01/01/2002)



Various Artists
Big Bad Love [soundtrack]
Release Date: 2002
Label: Nonesuch

James Cotton track: harp on R.L. Burside's version of Bob Dylan's "Everything Is Broken"

From the film starring Arliss Howard, Debra Winger & Rossana Arquette, soundtrack features 2 new Tom Waits songs, Tom Verlaine & Kronos Quartet, Steve Earle and some Fat Possum artists, R.L. Burnside, T-Model Ford, Junior Kimbrough & more.Though many of the coterie of late-discovered Mississippi Delta bluesmen at the soundtrack's core (R.L. Burnside and sideman/protégé Kenny Brown, Asie Payton, T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour, Junior Kimbrough) are 70-something, they're often showcased in raw-rhythmed live recordings whose gritty, evocative sense of humanity spans generations. That's especially true of Burnside's all-star take on Bob Dylan's "Everything Is Broken," which includes James Cotton, Buddy Guy, Teenie Hodges, and Kenny Brown.


Debbie Davies
Key To Love - A Celebration Of The Music Of John Mayall
Release Date: 2003

Label: Shanachie Records (SH 9034)

Another tribute album, this one's not for the Stones, but John Mayall. Done by US singer/guitarist Debbie Davies, who had a band with Mayall's wife Maggie in the 80's. Guests on the album are Peter Green, James Cotton and most notably Mick Taylor (playing on Hard Road).



About Them ShoesHubert Sumlin
About Them Shoes
Release Date:

Recording Date: Showplace Studios, NJ (10/2002); Studio L, CT (10/2002)

1. I'm Ready
2. Still a Fool
3. She's into Something
4. Iodine in My Coffee
5. Look What You've Done
6. Come Home Baby
7. Evil
8. Long Distance Call
9. Same Thing, The
10. Don't Go No Further
11. I Love the Life I Live, I Live the Life I Love
12. Walkin' Thru the Park
13. This Is the End, Little Girl

One of the key architects of the Chicago blues sound, guitar master Hubert Sumlin is probably best known for his wiry, angular phases on Howlin' Wolf classics like "Smokestack Lightnin'" and "I Asked for Water." But Sumlin also worked with Muddy ...    Full DescriptionWaters, and ABOUT THEM SHOES pays overt homage to Chicago's favorite blues son with a set list full of Waters's originals and tunes written for Waters by Willie Dixon (the great songwriter, bassist, and Chicago session man).

ABOUT THEM SHOES finds Sumlin brings on a distinguished roster of guests, including drummer Levon Helm, harmonica player James Cotton, vocalist David Johansen, and six-string godheads Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. Clapton, Richards, and Johansen lend some fine vocal tracks (Johansen's Wolf-like take on "Walkin' Thru the Park" is especially notable), but Sumlin takes the spotlight here. The veteran still throws out stinging leads, distinctive melody lines, and quick, perfectly crafted embellishments that drip with blues essence. The end result is a fine tribute to Waters, and to Sumlin's own towering contribution to the genre.

Liner Note Authors: Hubert Sumlin; Michael Barthel.

Recording information: Showplace Studios, NJ (10/2002); Studio L, CT (10/2002).

Photographer: Peter Margonelli.

Personnel: Hubert Sumlin (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Hubert Sumlin; George Receli (vocals, drums, percussion); George Recile (vocals, drums); Blondie Chaplin (vocals, percussion, background vocals); Nathaniel Peterson, Jr., Nathaniel Peterson (vocals); David Maxwell (guitar, piano); Mudcat Ward (bass guitar); Keith Richards (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar); Paul Oscher (vocals, slide guitar, harmonica); David Johansen (vocals); Bob Margolin (guitar); James Cotton (harmonica); Levon Helm (drums).

Audio Mixers: Rob Fraboni; Ben Elliott.

WBESWillie "Big Eyes" Smith
Way Back
Release Date:
2006 (May 9th, 2006)
Hightone (HCD8191

This album features Willie blowing harp on 7 tracks, James Cotton on two and Bob Corritore on two. Other guests include Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin, Billy Flynn, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones, Bob Stroger, Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith, Little Frank, and Johnny Rapp. A solid, straight ahead Chicago Blues record!


kokoKoko Taylor
Queen Of The Blues
Released :
Label :
Alligator Records
Runing Time:
40' 36''

Genres :
Blues / Rhythm n' Blues / Soul

Famous Blues artists got together to accompany Koko Taylor's deep voice on this album recorded in 1985. Among those artists: Son Seals, Albert Collins, Lonnie Brooks and James Cotton.

01 - Evil 05mn 03s
02 - Beer Bottle Boogie 03mn 35s
03 - I Cried Like A Baby 05mn 17
04 - I Can Love You Like A Woman (Or I Can Fight You Like A Man) 03mn 53s
05 - Flamin' Mamie 03mn 32s
06 - Something Inside Me 03mn 50s
07 - The Hunter 03mn 31s
08 - Queen Bee (aka I'm A King Bee) 03mn 54s
09 - I Don't Care No More 03mn 12s
10 - Come To Mama 04mn 49s


Elvin Bishop
The Blues Rolls On
Release Year: 2008
Label: Delta Groove Music

What makes this new Elvin Bishop amazing are the special guests he has been able to assemble for this new release. This lineup shows just want a revered & respected guitarist Elvin is with his peers. The guests on this album are as follows B.B. King, George Thorogood, James Cotton, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Kim Wilson, Tommy Castro, Ronnie Baker Brooks, John Nemeth, Angela Strehli, Homemade Jamz Blues Band, R.C. Carrier & Andre Thierry.


19?? FRA
Feeling Good (vcl/hca by James Cotton) / Come On / One More Mile To Go (vcl/hca by James Cotton) / Straighten Up (vcl/hca by James Cotton)


The Reel Blues Fest, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping musicians receive access to medical care and to supporting the work of independent filmmakers. Proceeds from events will be distributed to eligible 501 (C) (3) organizations pursuant to the guidelines established by The Reel Blues Fest, Inc.

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